UNICEF stated that around 400,000 children are at risk of dying from severe malnutrition and nearly 2.5 million need medical treatment because they are not getting enough to eat.
The most impoverished country in the Arab World “Yemen” has been broken by nearly four years of war and is dangerously close to total collapse.
The United Nations has told Sky News that Yemen is heading “into the abyss” – and is urging the international community to end the war before it is too late.
Government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition are battling Houthi militia fighters, who have seized control of several provinces, including the capital Sanaa in late September 2014.
The ground battles as well as aerial attacks by the warplanes of the Saudi-led ArabCcoalition and an air and sea blockade have done huge damage to infrastructure and have destroyed much of Yemen’s economy.
In many areas there is simply no money – and although there is food, a huge percentage of the population cannot afford to buy it, relying instead on meagre food aid. The country is now facing a catastrophic famine.
UNICEF’s representative in Yemen, Meritxell Relano, says the consequences could be unthinkable if a political solution is not found.
She added: “It’s definitely totally preventable and actually the cause of this near famine or pre-famine situation in which we are is obviously the war.
“If the conflict continues this country is going into the abyss further and further.” In some areas, that point has already been reached.
We visited a number of refugee camps in Aslem in northern Yemen – and what we found was truly shocking. People who have fled the fighting are surviving by boiling leaves to keep hunger at bay.
Many of the children we saw in the camps were severely malnourished, but in the immediate area there is just one basic hospital, which has been overwhelmed. In one of the beds, we were shown a seven-year-old girl called Amal.
She is dangerously thin and her breathing was shallow – medical staff told us she was close to death. There are more cases than there are beds.
The war has not just destroyed the economy, it has as well ravaged the healthcare system.
But doctors say they are seeing more and more cases both in number and severity. And they say the problem is getting worse.